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Shimano BFS Epiphany

by Les Albjerg
Idaho

If you have an Adlebaran BFS XG or a Calcutta Conquest BFS HG, I may have some very good news for you! I took today off work to do just whatever I wanted to do. So, I went fishing! It was a beautiful sunny almost windless day. I saw a review of the Adlebaran where the guy was casting a 1 gram lure with it. He suggested that next time he was going to try it without the extra two magnets installed. I went out this morning without the two extra magnets.

I shared the following with Chris when I was home for lunch. So this morning I went out to my other favorite "Area" with the two optional magnets removed. I was shocked at how much better the Shimano reel -Tenyru rod combination cast. I began the session with the brake on full with fear and trepidation that I was in for some major bird's nests. I was pleasantly surprised that on the first cast I had too much brake! I began with a 6 gram spinner. I backed the brake off to 5. I still had too much brake, but I no longer had to release early! I let go and the lure went straight as an arrow! I then dropped the brake down to 4. I had a slight over-run. I then adjusted to 4.5 (This was also 2 fish already caught messing with the reel!).

Now for the thriller! I gave the combo a full power cast, and I gained between 4 and 5 yards distance and even more accuracy! Was this a fluke? I did a 10 cast test. No, it is amazing. I caught 2 more fish! So, it was time to try some of my new 2 gram Smith spinners. I had a slight over-run. I moved the brake up to 4.75 and I was back in business. Again, no "English" required. The combo was casting perfectly straight! I also gained significant distance over what I could do with a 2 gram spoon before.

So here is what I'm thinking. With the two extra magnets the profile of the dynamic braking system is different. I theorize that as those magnets move up toward the spool, they are "slamming" the brakes to the cast and then as the spool slows, the drop of the braking curve is steeper leading to those dreaded over-runs. So with fewer magnets, I am smoothing out the profile of the braking. It is also why I had to let loose early to get the lure to go where I want it to go. So with 2-6 gram lures, I am a very very happy fisherman with not having those extra magnets.

Now for my biggest surprise. I was actually casting the 2 and 6 gram spinners as far with my BFS outfit as I did last week with my spinning outfit! I never thought that would be possible. My accuracy with the BFS as usual was much, much better. My last fish was caught dropping the Smith spinner 2 inches from a limb that went into the water! I wouldn't have even tried that cast with a spinning setup.

I stopped counting fish after number 10.

After lunch I headed to a different "Area" (An Japan, an Area is private, managed, heavily stocked pond or stream. The places I call Areas are stocked, but are not private.) There was a familiar Ram pick-up in the parking lot. I wandered over to Jose's favorite spot and there he was fishing his Calcutta! I watched for a little and I could see he has gotten better at his casting. I then walked over and we chatted. I asked him, "Did you install the extra two magnets when you got your reel." He said, "Yes, I figure I need all the braking I can get!" He was fishing at the 3 setting on his brake. I told him that my reel was working amazingly well. I pulled out my utility tool and said to him, "I'll give you two of my new JDM spinners if you don't cast better with the two magnets removed! The magnets just popped out on the knife. I told him to move his brake to 3.5. He had the same experience I had! He was stunned! I transferred his magnets to a file he had in his kit. I also gave him a Smith Spinner! He dialed in to a new level over the next hour we fished together.

I was off to a third spot and just totally enjoying the day! The fishing wasn't as good, but playing with my dialed in BFS outfit was just a blast. This area has a little more technical seams and troughs, so dropping the lure precisely is important. I fished spinners, spoons, and plugs. I caught fish on all three. I was standing on a rock zinging the plug into an eddy, and on the retrieve I just burst out laughing! If you have ever watched Angler Saito from Japan on YouTube, he will often just uses his thumb and forefinger with his pinky pointing out! I was doing my retrieve the same way!

I finished the day fishing one of my favorite eddies on the Snake River. My BFS outfit was zinging plugs further than I ever thought it would! Three smallmouth bass (largest was 18 inches), went after a WooDream Arbor plug. I finally felt confident enough to fish an expensive plug with my BFS outfit.

So, when I got home, I called two other guys I know who have Adlebaran BFS XG reels. They both added the two extra magnets as soon as they got their reels. If you have one of these reels, I would suggest you try it without the extra magnets. Today, I cast lures from 2 grams to 6 grams. I did hundreds of casts, and I didn't have a single overrun or backlash once I was dialed in! At one place, I was casting into a slight breeze! I think I could have backed the brake off even a little more, but I didn't want to mess with success. I finally feel like I am fishing a reel that is worth the price I paid for it.


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Warning:

The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.